When I first found out about Neiman Marcus Dip—a delicious concoction of cheddar cheese, bacon, and slivered almonds—I was curious about its origins.
It may seem obvious that this cheesy side dish originated in Neiman Marcus’s flagship restaurant The Zodiac Room in Dallas, but it has since become a party favorite across the nation. So how exactly has its relevance endured since the 1950s?
The dip first hit tables in 1953 thanks to Neiman Marcus’s Director of Food Services, Helen Corbitt, who developed the recipe. (Neiman Marcus Dip’s lasting popularity is just one part of Corbitt’s legacy. She has been credited as a true tastemaker in Texas, having pioneered Texas caviar and popularized fresh steamed vegetables and poached fish in the Southern state that had previously sidelined them.)
In the years following its debut, Neiman Marcus Dip made it beyond the walls of the Dallas-based restaurant, going national and earning itself a second moniker, the “Million Dollar Dip,” because, as you might expect from something laden with cheese and endowed with a delicious crunch from toasted almonds, it tastes like a million bucks.
Even though we may not be able to sample the dip in its glory days at The Zodiac Room, luckily Cook’s Country has created their own version inspired by the original recipe.
Often, a dip that has been sitting out for hours can become stodgy or dry, making it unappetizing or even inedible. One of the best things about this dish, however, is that it requires a little bit of time to sit for the flavors to meld (2 hours, if you can hold yourself back for that long), but that means the longer it sits around waiting to be enjoyed, the better it gets.